Larry Miller’s ECC show has been postponed
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media April 13, 2012 3:44PM
Larry Miller | File photo
Cocktails with Larry Miller: Little League, Adultery and Other Bad Ideas
♦ April 14
♦ Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive
♦ Tickets, $32-$35
♦ (847) 697-1000
Updated: April 14, 2012 2:03PM
UPDATE: The April 14 production of “Cocktails with Larry Miller” has been postponed. Call the Elgin Community College Arts Center box office at 847-622-0300 for further information.
Larry Miller knows he’s competing with things like television, DVDs and the Internet for an audience, but he believes that nothing compares to live entertainment.
He performs “Cocktails with Larry Miller: Little League, Adultery and Other Bad Ideas” at 7:30 p.m. April 14 at Elgin Community College’s Blizzard Theatre.
Miller is an actor, writer and comedian. He does a podcast called “Laugh With Larry,” blogs on his web site and Tweets. You might have seen him in movies like “Pretty Woman,” “Ten Things I Hate About You,” “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang” and “The Princess Diaries;” to TV shows like “Boston Legal” and “Shake It Up” on the Disney Channel (his wife is Eileen Conn, a co-executive producer on the popular tween dance-com.)
“Cocktails with Larry Miller” isn’t just a stand-up comedy act; it’s a one-man show.
“A one-man show is as different from stand up as the flute is to the trumpet,” he said. “I do love stand up; I still go on Letterman’ and ‘The Tonight Show’ and I love stand up before anything else. I love the purity of it. But this show has pieces in it I couldn’t do in my stand up act. It’s a completely different structure.”
The show has lots of original music he wrote, a set, lighting, costumes and story-telling, he said.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to combine all the things that I love,” he said. “I love acting, and I’ve been very lucky. I worked pretty steadily over the years. And I love writing. And this show combines everything — the skills of acting, of writing, of performing, of stand up.”
His mother told him to add music to his act for years, and he finally did. Fortunately, he studied music at Amherst College. In fact, before he took to the stage to tell jokes at The Comic Strip in New York, he was playing drums there, he said.
“Music was always a big part of my life but then it just vanished for 15 years,” he said.
This love of performing led him to create this one-man show, instead of simply writing a new stand up act.
“I never understand, especially for creative people, when folks say, ‘I’m just going to stick with this thing.’ I think it’s wonderful be able to do all these,” he said. “I love spinning 10 plates at a time. And it’s not because it’s a challenge; I really feel that all 10 plates need spinning. At least they do in my life.”
In his show, he talks about everything from the “deep well” that is his family, to the mundane — like driving a car and wondering if everyone but him is crazy.
“I just wrote a piece about how when it comes to food, a thousand years ago people had to make a human chain down a cliff just to get one egg and grab it out of the nest, and if he fell then you ate him,” he said. “And today, every city is nothing but food, up one side of the street and down the other is just food, food, food. We drive from restaurant to restaurant, sauce stains dripping down our faces, desperately trying to digest enough to pull over and eat again. That’s a great theme for me. We’re all so stupid we don’t even enjoy our food anymore.”
His show is suitable for “every human who speaks English,” he said.
“It’s so gratifying to perform. This is what I’m made for,” he said. “It’s a good gift to bring to the world. When someone comes up after a show and says, ‘I had a hard day, but you made me feel better. I had a good time and I laughed a lot.’ That’s the most amazing thing to hear. It’s quite a thing. It’s a nice way to go through life.”
Audience can expect to see a really good experience of live performing, he said. People will recognize their own lives in his act, whether or not you have kids.
“There is still something so wonderful and pleasurable and even important, when people go to the theater and the lights go down and they see a live performer,” he said. “There’s something very deep in that, and that’s what people in Elgin can expect. They can expect not only a really funny show that not only illuminates the drive over they just had but everything in their lives, but leaves them thinking … it was really good we went out tonight and saw this guy live.”